And last I bought a lightweight, narrow step ladder which fits between the fridge and the wall:
I use it a lot to reach the upper cabinets, and the storage on the top of the cabinets. I bought it from Williams-Sonoma. Not pictured: I bought some Umbra collapsible rectangular baskets in natural muslin. They are shallow enough to fit on top of the cabinets but wide enough to hold larger items, and when I need to get inside all I have to do is pull down the top. I store lesser-used things up there - baking molds, ice shaver, cake stands. It's ok for a temporary solution.